The following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2015, whose website is located at DailyScripture.net
Do you pay careful attention to warning signs? Many fatalities could be avoided if people paid attention to such signs. When the religious leaders demanded a sign from Jesus, he gave them a serious warning to avert spiritual disaster. It was characteristic of the Jews that they demanded “signs” from God’s messengers to authenticate their claims.
When the religious leaders pressed Jesus to give proof for his claims he says in so many words that he is God’s sign and that they need no further evidence from heaven than his own person. The Ninevites recognized God’s warning when Jonah spoke to them, and they repented. And the Queen of Sheba recognized God’s wisdom in Solomon. Jonah was God’s sign and his message was the message of a merciful God for the people of Nineveh.
Unfortunately the religious leaders were not content to accept the signs right before their eyes. They had rejected the message of John the Baptist and now they reject Jesus as God’s Anointed One (Messiah) and they fail to heed his message. Simeon had prophesied at Jesus’ birth that he was destined for the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that inner thoughts of many will be revealed (Luke 2:34-35). Jesus confirmed his message with many miracles in preparation for the greatest sign of all – his resurrection on the third day.
The Lord Jesus came to set us free from slavery to sin and hurtful desires. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit he pours his love into our hearts that we may understand his will for our lives and walk in his way of holiness. God searches our hearts, not to condemn us, but to show us where we need his saving grace and help. He calls us to seek him with true repentance, humility, and the honesty to see our sins for what they really are – a rejection of his love and will for our lives. God will transform us if we listen to his word and allow his Holy Spirit to work in our lives. Ask the Lord to renew your mind and to increase your thirst for his wisdom and truth.
James says that the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, without uncertainty or insincerity (James 3:17). A double-minded person cannot receive this kind of wisdom. The single of mind desire one thing alone – God’s pleasure. God wants us to delight in him and to know the freedom of his truth and love. Do you thirst for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14)?
“Lord Jesus, change my heart and fill me with your wisdom that I my love your ways. Give me strength and courage to resist temptation and stubborn wilfulness that I may truly desire to do what is pleasing to you.”
The following reflection is courtesy of PresentationMinistries.com (c) 2015. Their website is located at PresentationMinistries.com
CONNECT THE DOTS
“Every man shall turn from his evil way.” Jonah 3:8
The people of Nineveh, wicked as they were, made the connection between their sins and the destruction to come. These people frequently brutalized and butchered large numbers of people. They were pagans, spiritually dead, the least likely to repent. Yet the prophetic word pierced their hearts, and they repented. Jesus commended them for this (Lk 11:32).
We fancy ourselves more sophisticated than the ancient Ninevites. We specialize in knowing connections, such as the connection between cholesterol and heart disease, drinking alcohol and liver disease, sanitation and the prevention of infection, physical health and mental health, etc. Yet we, in our “advanced” culture, miss the all-important connection between sin and damnation.
Our culture misses the connections between sexual sin and spiritual guilt, consumerism and lack of concern for the poor, contraception and the breakdown of marriage and family, relativism and the shortage of vocations, etc. Our culture specializes in missing the connection between Jesus and forgiveness of sin. So many act like the Pharisee, thinking they are OK with God while failing to know what acts are sinful, or even failing to know that they are sinners (Lk 18:11-12). If we were making these connections, the Confession lines in our churches would be full every week.
Jesus came to save sinners like us. All we need to do is make the connection that we are sinners and He is our Lord, Savior, and Redeemer. Repent!
Prayer: “O God, be merciful to me, a sinner” (Lk 18:13). Promise: “A heart contrite and humbled, O God, You will not spurn.” Ps 51:19 Praise:Realizing an unforgiveness in her life was stifling the Holy Spirit, Nancy went to Confession and was set free. (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from February 1, 2015 through March 31, 2015.
Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 25, 2014.
The rescript is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted ecclesial permission agree with the contents, opinions, or statements